Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting MERCURY NEWS to 80360 or email us
Tesco wins right to change planning conditions for Northgate store
COUNCIL bosses have been accused of “rolling over” for supermarket giant Tesco after allowing changes to planning conditions they had set a few months earlier.
Tesco applied to alter four planning conditions, which included extending the new store’s delivery times from 7am to 6am.
But Ward councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce joined residents’ spokesman Nick Gibson and Bridgwater Town Clerk Alan Hurford in appealing to Sedgemoor’s Development Control committee at a meeting last week to insist that the original conditions be met.
Cllr Smedley said: “The planning agreement was made in the face of massive opposition from residents but was passed by this committee, who in doing so set conditions.
“Rolling over only a few months after imposing these conditions could simply be seen as SDC bowing to corporate pressure and does not send a message that would be received very well here and by future victims of such developments.”
Cllr Pearce argued the planning documents were vague and made too many assumptions to the store’s operation.
She also expressed her concern over Tesco’s request to allow tonal reversing alarms on delivery vehicles, adding: “I ask the committee to remember this is not some out of town shopping centre – this store is extremely close to homes.”
Residents’ spokesman Nick Gibson criticised Sedgemoor planners for treating the residential area “like an industrial estate”.
Town Clerk Alan Hurford reaffirmed the town council’s opposition to the original planning decision and to any weakening of the conditions granted as part of that decision.
Tesco was represented by Gareth Hooper who claimed the conditions were tough and that they just needed the extra hour for deliveries to get fresh food into the store.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We're pleased the alterations were approved by the council.
“This will allow us to offer the best possible service to local customers.”
The committee passed a majority vote to grant permission for the altered conditions.
A spokesman for Sedgemoor District Council said the amendments were subject to public consultation, adding: “After a detailed discussion and questioning of the planning officers, the committee resolved to approve the application for the revised conditions and in doing so imposed a number of additional conditions to further protect the amenity of local residents.”
Comments are closed on this article.